Collaborative Research: A Visual System for Autonomous Foraminifera Identification
Edgar J Lobaton
Project runs from 08/01/2016 to 07/31/2019
Paleoceanography, among other research fields, depends crucially on ubiquitous ocean dwelling single celled organisms called foraminifera. Undergraduate workers are often employed to pick several thousands of specimens from ocean sediments for each study. Depending on deposition rates and abundance of the species, such manual processing can become tediously repetitive with little intellectual motivation for the undergraduate workers, and time and cost-prohibitive for research scientists. The proposed project aims to develop a completely autonomous system for visual identification of foraminifera. This system will be compatible with existing off-the-shelf microscopes, and will utilize pattern recognition tools that will be made available to the entire scientific community. This project has the potential to enable robotic systems that can perform autonomous picking of foraminifera samples.